In today’s article, I’m going to briefly look at what the state pension is and some of the changes to entitlement age coming into force in the near future.

What is the State Pension?

The state pension is, as the name suggests, a pension paid to you from the government. Once you reach state pension age you will receive these payments in regular instalments, usually paid every four weeks. The full state pension at £10,600 per annum is unlikely to be enough for you to live on comfortably in retirement, so it might be a good idea to make additional provisions for your retirement such as a personal pension.

How do I Qualify for the State Pension?

The amount of state pension you qualify to receive will be based upon your national insurance contributions. You will need to have a minimum of ten qualifying years on your record to get any state pension. to receive the full £10,600 per year, you need at least 35 full years of national insurance contributions. For hose that have between 10 and 35 years the amount you receive will be calculated as 1/35th of the maximum for every years contribution you have. Don’t forget, you may have been receiving national insurance credit if you have been in receipt of certain state benefits and these count towards the 35 years.

What is the State Pension Age?

The state pension age is currently 66. This means you can claim your state pension money from the government on your 66th birthday but this is increasing.

When will the UK State Pension Go Up?

The state pension age is due to go up from 66 to 67 between 2026-2028 and then up to 68 by 2044.
Ministers were expected to announce in May 2023 that the changes would come much sooner – with a rise in the state pension age to 68 between 2037 and 2039. But the government now plans to wait until after the next general election before making this decision.

What if an Increase is Announced?

Announcing an increase in the state pension age could potentially alienate middle-aged voters, not necessarily to the point where they take to the streets, but at least enough to make them consider switching their vote.

Not wanting people to do that in the run-up to an election makes political sense, but delaying this announcement still piles uncertainty on people who really know what state pension they will get and when so that they can effectively plan for their retirement.

As Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, observed: “Things do change – in this case projections of life expectancy – and it’s good to remain flexible in the face of change. On the other hand, this choice will affect those already in their fifties who need to be able to plan for retirement with some degree of confidence.

Why is this So Important?

Knowing when the £10,600 a year state pension will kick in matters as it forms a corner stone of any financial plan.

Pensions & Politics

The French government recently planned to raise their retirement age by two years to 64, this prompted widespread outrage, with protesters taking to the streets of Paris to make their objections heard.

The situation became so serious that earlier this year, police ended up firing tear gas at protesters, King Charles had to cancel his planned state visit to France, and you could have been forgiven for thinking that photos of the protests were actually images of a war zone.

Of course, observers in this country might be wondering what all the fuss is about. After all, as we have just detailed the state pension age in the UK is currently 66 and the government are planning to increase it to 68, so some might argue that the French don’t know how good they have it.

But pensions and politics can be a toxic mix, so could recent events in Paris serve as a warning to politicians on this side of the Channel – not necessarily about civil disobedience, but about the strength of feeling that comes with making people wait?

What do Financial Advisers like Myself Say?

Any good financial adviser will tell you that you can’t rely on the state pension to fund your retirement, as it won’t be enough to cover all your living costs and give you the lifestyle you want and deserve. But it could still be a valuable top-up to your retirement income, so it’s important to know well in advance when you may be eligible to receive it, so you can factor it into your retirement plans.

What do Financial Advisers like Myself Say?

This whole debate is an important reminder of why it’s so important to take matters into your own hands when it comes to planning for the future, at least as much as you possibly can. It’s in the government’s hands to decide when you can receive the state pension, so if you’re relying heavily on that income, deciding when you can retire is ultimately beyond your control.

By contrast, if you’ve made your own pension provision, you could be in a much stronger position to choose when you retire and take charge of your own destiny.

What to do next, can Howard Wright help me with my retirement planning?

What to do next, can Howard Wright help me with my retirement planning?

As always, we’ll be happy to discuss all aspects of financial planning with you and answer any questions you may have.

To discuss your finances free of charge, please contact Ashley Smith one of our Chartered Financial Planners at Howard Wright, you can call him on 0345 688 4939 or you can fill in our enquiry form below, it only takes 20 seconds to complete. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing how Ashley can help..

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we look forward to hearing from you.


This article contains information from sources believed to be reliable but no guarantee, warranty, or representation, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy or completeness.  Howard Wright Ltd does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any future statements.  Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Investments can go down as well as up and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated. This article is for information purposes only and has no regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any person as such, the information contained in this article is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment or financial advice.  Appropriate personalised advice should be taken before entering into any transactions.  No responsibility can be accepted for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from based on this publication.  Howard Wright Ltd is Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  

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